Maria vividly remembers the last conversation she had with her mother. She was just eight when her mother begged her to look after her younger sister, Anna, who is both disabled and deaf.
Moments later Nazis soldiers shot and killed Maria and Anna’s mother right in front of them.
Then the soldiers took the girls’ father and left just as abruptly as they had stormed into their house – leaving the young girls to fend for themselves in a world overrun by hate.
It is nothing short of a miracle that these two sisters survived the Holocaust, begging for food scraps from neighbors in their humble Ukrainian village and receiving care from distant relatives.
Decades later, Maria is still upholding her promise to her mother. But it isn’t easy to care for herself in the crushing grip of poverty, let alone her special-needs sister. They cannot afford heat to stave off the bitter Ukrainian winter, and they can barely afford enough food to keep themselves alive.
Once again, they feel like those vulnerable girls, relying on strangers and miracles to survive.
This Passover season, you can reassure Maria and Anna – and thousands of other elderly Holocaust survivors like them – that they aren’t alone.
A gift of $25 can provide a Jewish family one personalized Passover Blessing with the essential food items and provisions needed to nourish their bodies and observe this sacred time with dignity.